What is UV-Curable Ink?

UV ink applications are becoming increasingly popular option for wide format printers. Although the name might sound quite exotic, the technology is simple and offers a wide variety of benefits over more traditional alternatives.


UV curable inks are specially formulated inks which, once printed onto a substrate, are dried onto the surface with intense UV light. Instead of heat, UV light dries the ink and it only takes a split second.

The UV light is normally built into the printing mechanism so that as soon as the printhead deposits the ink onto the substrate, the UV light meets the printed design to cure it instantly.

The method dramatically improves physical properties, meaning your printed media will be shown off with an improved high definition finish.


UV-Curable inks are particularly useful for printing onto various substrates with reduced drying times and high quality finishes:

  • Flexographic Printing: UV curable inks are particularly useful for printing applications in high-speed environments such as creating labels or packaging items. A flexible plate is able to transfer the image to the substrate which is cured instantly using UV light.
  • Signage: UV curable inks are a great solution for creating signage and digital graphics on atypical and unusual substrates.
  • Personalisation: The fast drying time of UV curable inks means it is possible to print high quality digital images onto a variety of personalised items such as glass bottles, phone cases, golf balls, keyrings and more.
  • Backlit Films: A UV printer can create film or fabric that is designed to be backlit. This is useful for menus, signage, wall art, advertising posters, billboards, and more. Ink is fade and moisture resistant for lasting effects. 


UV-Curable ink technology bring a range of benefits over other alternatives. Here are a few:

  • Production Speed: The UV light cures the inks as soon as the paper leaves the printhead, meaning the ink is dried instantly and has no risk of smearing or smudging.

  • Colour Quality: UV inks don't have a solvent that is evaporated, so 100% of the ink deposit is colourant. They sit on the surface as opposed to absorbing into the material which results in a more intense colour. UV inks also have good light fastness, which boosts their readability.

  • ResilientUV inks are smearing resistant, which results in crisper and more professional finishes. UV inks are able to maintain a high consistency of print, so the print job of the whole run will look the same without fading.

  • Ink Stability: UV ink doesn’t readily dry when exposed to air, so you won’t see ejection misalignment caused by ink drying on the nozzle surfaces. And, because the paper transport technology is identical to that of an offset press, you’ll see reliable and stable paper handling throughout the paper path.